TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com released the results of their second The Knot Market Intelligence Destination Weddings Study, which tracks the industry of more than 350,000 destination weddings annually by capturing detailed information on the destination wedding trends, locations and events of nearly 3,000 U.S. couples who had a destination wedding in 2011 or 2012.
"The 2012 Destination Weddings Study offers unparalleled information and understanding of the industry and the decision-making process of today's couples when it comes to planning the perfect destination wedding," said Howard Ladd, director of insights at XO Group Inc., parent company for TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com.
The study found that 350,000 destination weddings take place annually, representing 24 percent of all weddings. The average destination bride is 30 years old. Destination weddings have an average of 86 guests.
Seventy percent of destination weddings take place in the continental U.S. Florida, California and Nevada are the top three destination wedding locations in the continental U.S. Thirty percent of destination weddings take place outside the continental U.S. with the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii being the most popular wedding locations outside the continental U.S.
Fifty one percent of destination wedding couples use a wedding planner; 69 percent of destination weddings are held outdoors; and 86 percent of couples still plan to take a honeymoon after their destination wedding. "The idea of having a destination wedding is growing among our brides, and it goes hand in hand with the fact that most people no longer live where they grew up," said Carley Roney, co-founder of XO Group Inc. "When family is spread all over the country, a destination wedding is the perfect way to bring everyone together."
According to the study, destination weddings are growing in popularity. In 2011, nearly one in four (24 percent) couples had a destination wedding; this has grown from 20 percent in 2009. Sixty-six percent of international destination wedding brides and 45 percent of domestic destination wedding brides opted for a destination wedding because they wanted a special, fun or exotic locale.